5 Tips For Growing Tomatoes in Pots
Do you want home-grown goodness in your own backyard? Are you tight for space, or just don't want to make a garden? Well, growing in pots is perfect for you then! You can grow wonderful, fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs on your patio just steps outside your door!
Let's look at these 5 tips to start you off right!
#1. Pick The Right Variety
Most regular garden variety tomato plants get way too big for pots. Even a whiskey barrel is barely big enough for one. However, dwarf varieties are perfect for pots. There are several varieties to choose from. Some grow cherry tomatoes and others grow fruits the size of a tennis ball.
Look for varieties like: Patio, Bush Early Girl, Windowbox Roma, and Homeslice.
#2. Pick The Right Pot
In general, the bigger the better. Bigger pots hold more water and nutrients. This will make your life easier by reducing your watering frequency as well as keeping your plants happy. It's important to maintain an evenly moist soil for tomatoes, especially when they start fruiting.
You should use a pot at least the size of a 5 gallon bucket, all the way up to something the size of a whiskey barrel planter. Also, remember that ALL pots should have drainage holes in the bottom. If your pot doesn't have drainage, drill some in the bottom with a 1/4" drill bit.
#3. Use The Right Soil
As we've mentioned before, not all potting mixes are equal. Use a soil-less potting mix like Baccto Veggie Mix because it aerates well and holds more water. It’s also a great OMRI listed organic option. There are also other conventional and organic varieties to choose from. Professional growers use soil-less mixes for good reason. You should too.
#4. Start It Off Right
Tomatoes like fertilizer as much as they like water. Plants in
pots use more fertilizer than plants in the ground. Be sure to feed them regularly. You also want to be sure to use the right fertilizer. An unfortunate side effect of growing tomatoes in pots with the wrong fertilizer can be something called blossom end rot. This is caused by a calcium deficiency in the plant. Choosing a fertilizer that has added calcium will help prevent this and keep your plants growing healthy and happy.
#5. Check For Water
You should try to keep the soil evenly moist. When you water, the goal is to completely saturate the whole soil volume. Water until you see it start to drain out the bottom. Check your plants daily until you get the hang of how often they need it.
Keeping the soil evenly moist is especially important when plants start fruiting to help prevent cracking/splitting.